Youth take to their bikes to protest against mining companies

Youth Affected by Mining United in Action cycled the “Toxic Tour” to various mining companies’ offices in Johannesburg

| By

Protesters from Youth Affected by Mining United in Action make their way through the streets of Rosebank as part of their bike protest. Photos: Ihsaan Haffejee

On Youth Day on Sunday, the youth wing of Mining Affected Communities in Action (MACUA) staged an unusual protest. They hopped on bicycles and cycled to various mining companies in Johannesburg to voice grievances about the conduct of the companies and to raise public awareness of their communities’ plight.

Bongani Jonas, the national coordinator of Youth Affected by Mining United in Action (YAMUA,) said mining companies exploit their communities and pollute their environments.

“With this bike ride we will be taking the protest to the doorsteps of these companies. The CEOs are not based in our communities, seeing the effects of their mining activities, they are here in the suburbs,” said Jonas.

The protesters on bikes made their way on a “Toxic Tour” to the head offices of various mining houses, including Anglo American, De Beers, Seriti, South32 and Glencore.

“The number one issue for youth in these communities is unemployment. These companies don’t hire young people from the areas which they are exploiting. There is no transfer of skills. There needs to be a fundamental shift in the way the mining and extractive sector operates,” said Jonas.

Protesters staged performances outside the mining companies’ offices showing how they and their communities are affected by mining.

“The mines are saying that they are building a better future for us but they are shutting us out, so we are here today to make our voices heard,” said Sifundo Zungu, a young protester from a community near the mining town of Carletonville.

Organisers said they want greater accountability from mining companies about environmental degradation and climate change.

“The world is in crisis now with climate change so we need to be given an opportunity to advocate our own issues and for us to lead our own struggles,” said Jonas.

A group from Youth Affected by Mining United in Action stages a protest outside the offices of Anglo American in Johannesburg.

TOPICS:  Mining Youth

Next:  Shelters in Cape Town are filling up as winter bites

Previous:  News24 vs Sunday Independent: a look at the Press Ombud’s ruling

© 2024 GroundUp. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and GroundUp, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

We put an invisible pixel in the article so that we can count traffic to republishers. All analytics tools are solely on our servers. We do not give our logs to any third party. Logs are deleted after two weeks. We do not use any IP address identifying information except to count regional traffic. We are solely interested in counting hits, not tracking users. If you republish, please do not delete the invisible pixel.